EMSWORTH residents have been warned they need to accept that homes must be built in the town.
Dozens of people attended a development consultation forum last night on plans to build 180 homes on a greenfield site next to Selangor Avenue.
It has proved controversial with Havant Borough Council refusing to include it in the latest consultation on possible locations on where more than 6,000 new homes should be built in the borough.
Bryan Jezeph, the agent for Barratt Homes, said the developer could not understand why it had not been included because they felt it was much more suitable than building on Horse Field, opposite, which is on the list despite being a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Emsworth Residents Association says it is vital to save the field from development because it is a strategic green gap between Emsworth and Havant.
Mr Jezeph said all gaps are soon to be reviewed and added: ‘You will be unable to stop development completely so our view is that this is a very good site and the only issue that prevents us being considered in comparison to other sites is the gap.’
Issues with a major gas pipe under the site had been resolved involving a £1m move and a replacement pipe.
But Emsworth residents are not convinced. Lorraine Clode, chairwoman of the Residents Association, said: ‘The council can demonstrate a five-year housing land supply and there is no short-term housing requirement in the borough that would necessitate overriding the Local Plan Policies and building on this green field land as proposed.’
Tree warden Colin Mackey added: ‘I have no issue with Barratt or houses being built in Emsworth but I believe this is the wrong site in principle.
‘It is not Emsworth being Nimbys, it’s Emsworth saying this field has an amenity value.’
A planning application has not yet been submitted.